ANJ details player behaviour changes during second national lockdown

L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has published its ‘Gambling and Confinement’ survey, which revealed that 80% of players surveyed had engaged with gambling at some point during the second lockdown. 

The survey, which sought to gain a deeper understanding of players’ gambling behaviours, habits and emotions, was commissioned by the ANJ ‘to assess the effect of an unprecedented situation on player habits’ and whether confinement had raised player risks.    

Undertaken in December 2020, the report saw the ANJ survey a sample of 3,013 online players who had gambled during 2020, split into quotas of sex, age-group, region and profession.

With regards to ‘personal motivations’, 57% of players that gambled during the period said that they wanted ‘to win money’, with 43% adding that gambling was a ‘force of habit’.

Of those surveyed, 19% said that they wanted to reduce-or-change their gambling habits. 

ANJ’s survey highlighted that 5% of players had never gambled up until the second confinement.

Providing a breakdown of ‘new gamblers’, the survey detailed that 13% were in the age group of 18-24, who had taken an interest in sports betting and online poker.

The new players were enticed by ‘having more free time (22%) and the ‘desire to fight confinement’s boredom’ (22%) – with feedback further highlighting that 21% of new players would stop once lockdown was lifted in 2021. 

With regards to gambling risks, ANJ found that 1-in-10 players surveyed stated ‘that they had trouble keeping control’ – with ANJ highlighting the ‘inequality of activities’ as 52% of respondents highlighted casino play as overwhelming.   

Furthermore, the regulator underlined risk and gambling control concerns attached to younger players survey as 16% of 18-to-24 and 14% of 25-to-34 year ‘felt a loss of control during the second confinement’ (compared to 2% of the 50 years and over).

The ANJ underlined the importance of the survey’s feedback, following the publishing of its first online gambling market report, which revealed that French online gambling had welcomed 1 million new online gambling customers during 2020.

“The confinement has favoured the arrival of new players to online practices which seem riskier in terms of addiction, or even to online casino sites which are illegal in France,” said ANJ on its findings.

“The ANJ therefore wishes to activate various levers to strengthen the methods of combating this illegal offer which presents very strong risks of addiction and endangers the player. In an unprecedented context that could lead to the loss of benchmarks, it also intends to educate young players so that they adopt a recreational practice of sports betting.”